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Alex Bogusky Brings a Fearless Knife to the Prop 37 Gunfight Against Monsanto

Leon Kaye | Friday September 28th, 2012 | 17 Comments
Alex Bogusky, Proposition 37, prop 37, GMOs, Leon Kaye, Frankenfoods, Fearless Revolution, proposition 37 supporters,

Alex Bogusky donated 100K to the pro- Prop 37 campaign

With 39 days to go before Election Day, polls indicate that Proposition 37, which would require the labelling of genetically engineered foods (or GMOs) in California, is ahead by a comfortable 2 to 1 margin. Nevertheless, in this post- Citizens United era, no lead in the polls is ever safe. There is still hope for Monsanto, which has now contributed over $7 million dollars in the campaign to defeat Proposition 37, and its allies Dupont and Bayer. In fact, those three companies alone are outspending the largest yes-on-37 proponent, Mercola.com, by 14 to 1.

In steps Alex Bogusky, the adman turned activist. With a check for $100,000, he is now the sixth largest donor to the pro-Prop 37 campaign. Contrast that sum with the sixth largest funder of the anti-37 crowd, PepsiCo, with $1.7 million to date.

According to AdvertisingAge, Bogusky noted his current employer as Fearless Revolution, a consulting firm focused on helping companies transform their brands by becoming more socially and environmentally responsible. Bogusky has used the firm’s blog as a sounding board to protest some of the more dubious business practices multinationals have adopted – he also recently commented on controversial studies focused on GMOs while attacking companies that support Proposition 37. Fearless Revolution’s site also hosts a mini-documentary on the risks of GMOs.

Whether or not you view GMOs as “Frankenfoods” that will hurl us to a frightening future, or as the realistic path to feed a world surging in population, the core issue of Proposition 37 is whether out-of-state entities should have an impact on California’s elections. Furthermore, at question is whether consumers should know if GMOs are in the products they buy and if they have a right to transparent labeling – the standard practice in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the European Union. Companies including Dow, Coca-Cola, Nestle and ConAgra know that if a label is required in America’s most populous state, it may as well be on all of its products sold throughout the U.S., so they are fighting this grassroots initiative tooth and nail.

So while Bogusky’s six-figure check will cheer Proposition 37 supporters, he and the likes of Nature’s Path, Dr. Bronner’s, Amy’s Kitchen and Clif Bar are bringing knives into a gunfight. The true hope that pro-37 forces have going for them is that Californians generally turn their noses at politicians, and officials, that try to buy elections.

Leon Kaye, based in Fresno, California, is a sustainability consultant and the editor of GreenGoPost.com. He also contributes to Guardian Sustainable Business and covers sustainable architecture and design for Inhabitat. You can follow him on Twitter.

Image courtesy Fearless Revolution.


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  • ajkmsteph

    This will turn out to be a giant fiasco. Banning GM food will not help the quality of food. Far from it. Bt corn reducing insecticide use by massive amounts and except for non-science based or bad science augments there is absolutely zero evidence of harm and clear indication of benefits with reduced losses due to pests. Sustainable food production includes being able to produce enough food for everyone. Modern herbicide tolerant crops increase the recycling of plant foliage back into the soil (no-till practices) that reduce CO2 emissions and fuel costs and preserve soil mositure and organic matter. Bt crops as mnetioned not only reduce levels of know human toxic chemical insecticides by massive amount *hundreds of millions of gallons a year) but also increase yields. The lay person is barraged by non-science based arguments dripping with conspriracy theories that drown out the consistent, solid and verified scientific facts. In the end the activists will move on to their next agenda and target while farmers, biotechnologists and consumers will be left to pick up the pieces

    • http://www.facebook.com/jen.boynton Jen Boynton

      Prop 37 won’t ban GMOs, it only requires products that contain them to be labelled.

    • kittehv

      Prop 37 doesn’t ban GM food, it simply labels it as such. I have the right to know if they are in the food I am feeding my family. I will add that I also have a problem with the ethics of Monsanto, and Syngenta, and their infestation within the FDA. That’s not a conspiracy theory, its verifiable facts and past history. I am now avoiding the products who have donated to stop Prop 37. If this technology was supposed to save the world, Monsanto, with their consistent record of lies, would be the LAST multinational corporation leading the way. I don’t believe a word they say. I highly doubt “saving the world” will be a for profit venture to begin with.
      This, however, is not what Prop 37 is about. It’s about labeling, like they do in Europe and China. I have just as much right to know as their citizens do. Labeling simply makes it so that a consumer can make an informed choice, one way or the other. Millions are being spent to prevent us from knowing. One has to ask, why?

  • LibsDon’tThink

    The casually informed are under the impression that: “Prop 37 won’t ban GMO’s, it will only require that products containing them be labelled”.
    This is exactly what the food activists would have you, the voters, believe.
    The truth is that the goal of Prop 37 is to ban GMO’s by placing such onerous labelling obstacles in place that it would serve the same purpose as a ban. Why? Anyone who understands the path food takes from farm, through transport to storage and processing knows that it is functionally impossible without exhoribant costs and new infrastructure to segregate GMO’s and their derivitives used in processed foods in order to meet these proposed new labelling requirements. Think of all the additives such as stabilizers, emulisifiers and flavorings, just to name a few, that would need special handling in order to identify them on the label of any given processed product.
    It would be the equivalent of tracking individual drops of water in the Mississsippi River from Minnesota to New Orleans.
    No. This is not a benign and innocent ballot measure. It is a dishonest campaign being waged by intellectually challenged food anarchists relying on disseminating misinformation and fear among the general population in order to achieve their cynical goal of the elimination of science based, science tested, and demonstrably safe modern crop production necessary for a growing world population. It’s also a campaign made up of snooty elitists who care litttle about issues like that growing world population and how to decide who starves if we backtrack to their subsistent methods of food production.
    So, to those of you claiming that this is a simple labelling issue could not be more wrong.

    • Jason Farris

      You sound like a Monsanto lobbyist. Are you familiar with their practices? Are you aware that this comany has destroyed multiple communities in the Midwest US with pollution?
      Your entire argument about supplier handling is moot, simply because the consumer has the right to choose what they eat. I do understand very well the route food takes from farm-to-market, if a producer wishes to save money buy purchasing inferior GMO crops then they will have to label it. They will have to weigh the cost/risk of using GMO food suppliers.
      That whole argument is BS, the market will adapt. No amount of inconvenience should impede FREEDOM. It was pretty inconvenient for the British to have their colony declaring its independance back in 1776 wasn’t it? If weak little brainwashed pukes like yourself were making the choices then we’d still be slaves to the British Crown (arguable that we still are anyway, side note)
      Regardless, FREEDOM you fool, FREEDOM…repeat that into your thick skull.

      • dogctor

        Regardless, FREEDOM you fool, FREEDOM…repeat that into your thick skull.
        Right On!

    • Dogctor

      There are No unbiased independently conducted clinical feeding Trials on record in pets or people. The studies on rodents conducted for 90 days by the corporations themselves show medical harm to the kidneys and liver. The recent breast cancer study also raised questions about neoplasia, which in spite of the whirlwind of PR propaganda and criticism can only be rejected scientifically by replicating the study on a statistically significant number of rodents. Realizing this simple truth takes reading the dreaded science, which you are counting on voters Not doing. While espousing your love of science, you are actually spreading lies, obfuscating and perpetrating ignorance. Read the science– it does Not, in any way, shape or form makes GMOs SAFE to eat.

  • Jason Farris

    Label it.
    Simple, give consumers the choice. That is called freedom.
    If it is safe, if people want it; they will buy it. If not, then Monsanto will go out of business. Monsanto is a known mass polluter and a known financial strongarmer, they have destroyed America’s agriculture community and replaced it with a guild of mad scientists.
    Why are so many on here such enemies of freedom? Freedom to know what you are buying and freedom to make a chioce – it is that simple. If you are not for freedom – then move to another country you fascist!

  • bamboobike

    i like how the opponet to Prop 37 use banning of GMO food as their argument, twisting the facts. This similar to a nutrition fact and ingredients label in most food, just infomation for the consumer. If i want a low fat diet, i would choose low fat food. without those label it would be my guess on which is a low fat food.

  • Stanford 89

    The crazies are coming out in the comments.

    I’m not anti-GMO, but I have zero problem with labeling GMO foods. there are a lot of possible ecosystem problems they lead to, and also the patent system is putting food into the hands of too few corporations. SO I’d like to know what my money supports.

    I actually don’t understand why Monsanto is lobbying so hard against it. It just makes them look bad. Let GMOs stand on their merits. Most people will probably ignore the labels anyway.

  • LibsDon’tthink

    o.k., Jason Farris, your anger aside and ignorance on the issue, let me ask you a question………since you claim that you understand “very well” the route food takes from farm to table, is it not fair that we should require all foods containing any elements of organic produced ingredients also to be labelled for those of us who want to know what we are eating? Fair enough? (If you truly understand the logistics involved in taking food from farm to table this will be an interesting response on your part!)

    • Jason Farris

      “is it not fair that we should require all foods containing any elements of organic produced ingredients also to be labelled for those of us who want to know what we are eating?”
      Can you please word your question a little more clearly. Do you mean organically?
      Can you give me an example perhaps of a food you are talking about?
      Are you saying here also that you are someone who as you say “want[s] to know what we are eating”. Yet you do not want to know weather you are eating GMO?
      It’s called freedom to choose, there goes my whole argument if you want to dissect me here bub, what kind of argument can you possibly have against the freedom to choose? It’s elementary.

  • LibsDon’tThink

    Yes, it’s all about Freedom…..Freedom from the food anarchists significantly driving up the price I pay for my food simply to satisfy their whims of placing massive segregation cost burdens on the food production channel at all levels……including harvest, storage, transportation, handling and processing. And for no reason. These modern crop improvements are scientifically proven to be intrinsically the same as non-GMO’s and should require no special labelling for any reason other than snooty elitism on the part of those who would be responsible for adding billions to overall costs if this cynical campaign of fear/misinformation is successful. And who do you think will pay those extra costs? Yep, you and me. Yes….it’s all about freedom from these ill-informed fear mongers getting their skinny fingers in my wallet. Freedom from ignorance. Freedom from fear. Freedom from falling prey to populist charlatans.

    • Edison

      The issues with GMOs are not so much that they are “bad for you”. The issues are that they may very well be bad for the environment – much bigger issues than the end consumer. Also, they put control of the food supply into a small number of corporations. That is bad, and not good for prices either.

      Right now your processed junk food is cheap because of massive government subsidies, not because of GMOs.

      Labeling GMOs give me a much easier way to know where my money goes. I have no problem paying a bit extra for that privilege.

      • dogctor

        There is scientific documentation indicating that they are demonstrably, scientifically Bad for You

    • Jason Farris

      Shouldn’t hurt Monsanto; they’re spending millions to try to defeat this measure. Even though it is favored by about 90% of people polled.
      Maybe you should just move to some country where they have no choices, where they have no freedom to choose what they eat, or how many kids they have, or weather they can have guns or not. Maybe you need to be a little slave and be told what to do by your government, and they can lie to you and stuff toxic garbage down your throat all day until you die of mass tomors at a young age. Maybe you should just get the hell out of America right now and go find total tyranny and live happily ever after under it! As for real people with red blood and courage; we will stay right here and defend our freedom to choose come hell or high water! You little joke of a human being caught up in your brainwashed left right paradigm. LibsDon’tThink – your name says it all….you’re dillusional. Quit thinking and go listen to Hannity or Rush or one of your little thought handlers, leave the defending the Constitution to the real Americans.

  • belongto.it

    Let’s take this country bake, one purchase at a time. Check out our new web series, interviewing B Corporations across the country: The People vs. Citizens United: Buying America Back! http://t.co/7MdQzPXb